I have always wanted to enter a chili cook-off so I took it very seriously and stuck to a recipe I'd made up many years ago. I had everything I needed; at least I thought I did, until it came time to add seasoning and the chili powder was no where to be found. "Oh well! Can't win them all." I thought, and finished my recipe. I put it in a Crockpot and drove to work, it smelled pretty good so I was still hopeful. My boss pulled the top off as soon as I finished plugging in my slow-cooker. " Wow, that smells good." she told me and I thanked her for the compliment. When it came time to cast my vote it was very difficult because they were all so different I wanted to be fair. I did not vote for myself (I thought that would be a little tacky anyway.) But, I did win the Best Chili prize!
Since there wasn't any of my prize-winning-chili left over for my family to try; I made another batch today for dinner and it turned out even better! Here's the recipe:
My Prize Winning Chili
By Bethany Thompson
1 lbs Ground Beef
2 cans Light Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies Original
1 small can Tomato Sauce
1/2 carton Beef Stock (or to taste as it cooks)
1/2 Sweet Onion, diced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper- seeds and membrane removed, diced
1 large clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Sirachi Sauce (I'm guessing because I just eyeballed-it)
1+ tsp Ground Cumin (Ditto)
1/2 tsp Paprika (Ditto again)
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (about)
Break up ground beef in hot pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown until no pink remains.
Combine beans and tomatoes in a large pot, add browned beef, and rinse frying pan. Heat butter in pan until melted, add onion, peppers, garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cook until peppers are soft and onions are translucent, add to bean and meat pot mixture. Add seasonings to chili pot being careful with the Sirachi (this is what makes it super hot or pleasantly warm.) Add stock a little at a time and give it a good stirring to get the consistency you want. Simmer chili while you make a pan of cornbread, about an hour or more. As the chili thickens just keep adding stock now and then until you're ready to eat it and it gets to a good chili consistency. You can cook it in a big pot or throw it in the crock pot to cook on low all day. It does get a thicker consistency if you cook it in a pot on the stove though (Like what you see come from a can type of consistency- I like it best.)
The only difference between tonight and the competition was I used a medium can of tomato sauce and not as much beef stock, but trust me this way is so much better!
Making your own chili is not cheaper than buying a can of it. But... It is so much more delicious, nutritious and rewarding. ;-)